3203. John Street (1)

This is the first of ten very special pieces from John Street, tucked away in the old quarter of Bristol just behind Nelson Street. A developer is working on a building that has ten archways and they have run a competition for invited street artists to paint each of the archways with a small cash prize for the best one chosen by a panel of judges. That is the most that I know at the moment, gathered from a chance meeting with John Nation (the godfather of street art in Bristol). I will add more details once I have researched them properly.

Sled One, John Street, Bristol, September 2020
Sled One, John Street, Bristol, September 2020

This is the first archway working from left to right and is by the amazing Sled One who is telling us another amazing story in  the way he does so well. The main character is a rabbit chilling out at home (a sign of the times maybe) clutching a phone and a beer with a smoking cigarette in an ashtray. It looks like the rather forlorn rabbit is texting friends to keep in touch. He is weating a giant comedy shoe while a black cat watches on. So many details and so much to look at in this remarkable piece by Sled One and a great way to open up this series of posts from John Street. Hats off to the developers.

3200. M32 Spot (80)

Most of Sled One’s pieces tend to tell a story. Sometimes the stories are quite linear and easy to fathom out. Other times the stories are just too surreal and no amount of creative thinking will help with working it out. This is one such crazy surreal piece.

Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020
Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020

Painted alongside some of his ASK friends this intricate and detailed piece in great pinks and turquoises appears to show a sheep standing on the shoulders of a cow which is holding a pitchfork. The sheep is milking the poor unfortunate cow whose milk is spilling onton the Soker piece to its right.

Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020
Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020

Sled One is just getting better and better at these crazy cartoons, but it isn’t just the quality of his painting that amazes, but the creativity of his compositions that makes these pieces so good. Weird and wonderful.

3125. Nova Scotia (3)

So full of colour and imagination, this is an exceptional three-way collaboration from Tom Miller, Smak and Sled One, on, in my view, one of the best walls in Bristol.

Tom Miller, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020
Tom Miller, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020

On the left is an extraordinary contorted face from Tom Miller all looking a little bit nightmarish, with colours and shapes cascading from the mouth.

Tom Miller, Smak and Sled One, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020
Tom Miller, Smak and Sled One, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020

On the lower centre of the collaboration is a nice piece of equally colourful writing from Smak that complements Tom Miller’s piece.

Sled One, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020
Sled One, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020

Towards the top right hand side, the collaboration is topped off by a curious (aren’t they always), character piece from Sled One. It looks a little like an astronaut whose helmet has split and is experiencing rather unpleasant things. The whole collaboration is a celebration in colour and works nicely. It would be nice to see these three work together again.

3082. Cumberland Basin

Sled One is simply knocking out great pieces at the moment, all of equally high quality and imaginatively pioneering. This sausage on a mobile phone is such a great example of his creativity… a sausage? who’d have thought it?

Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, July 2020
Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, July 2020

Of course this is a mash up of writing (SLED) and a character, something that Sled One is a master of. Other writers will often add a character to the side of their work, but they rarely synthesise them into the piece itself. He has a rare talent. It is so good to see Sled One hitting the streets so frequently and it is worth making hay while the sun shines, because he can go quiet for extended periods (work demands probably). Sausages.

3062. Armada Place (20)

Armada Place is one of my favourite spots, but over recent years it has become rather quieter than it used to be and the quality of most of the graffiti there seems to have dropped a little. How wonderful it was then to stumble across this lovely piece from Sled One last week.

Sled One, Armada Place, Bristol, July 2020
Sled One, Armada Place, Bristol, July 2020

The piece is yet another surreal and strange piece depicting a figure hoiking out his skull from his face… I know how he feels! While looking at the scene unfold, it would be easy to miss that this is actually a blend of graffiti writing and a character scene… verify clever work. The writing says SLED.

Sled One, Armada Place, Bristol, July 2020
Sled One, Armada Place, Bristol, July 2020

As always with Sled One’s work, the piece is fantastically finished and so easy on the eye. His style of painting and the immense skill and experience he has makes it all look so easy and effortless. Go find it!

3034. Cattle Market Road (1)

This is one of five new pieces on Cattle Market Road on the previously blank hoardings that are on the southern perimeter of the development site behind Templemeads Station that should have been Bristol’s new concert venue. The session from a week ago was co-ordinated by The Hass and the opportunity arose through Out of Hand.

Sled One, Cattle Market Road, Bristol, June 2020
Sled One, Cattle Market Road, Bristol, June 2020

This extraordinary piece is by Sled One and is a welcome return by the artist – I believe this to be his first piece in the city since lock down measures were eased. The outstanding piece tells the story of the site, from a cattle market to the chaotic development site it has become, illustrated by a wrecking ball crashing across the piece on a gold chain. The cow, or more accurately bull, is looking a little crazy and is part of the narrative that recalls that when the place was a cattle holding space a bull escaped and terrorised the locals. As you would expect from the artist, this is an imaginative piece full of movement and wonder. First class (a little reference to the Royal Mail/Parcelforce buildings that were derelict/knocked down to create this development opportunity).

2899. M32 cycle path (57)

Aah, it is so easy to forget how bright and shiny (or shite and briney as an old colleague of mine used to say) this collaboration was when it was painted. Its quality has stood the test of time and it remained untouched for a very long spell – I think it has finally been painted over.

Dot Rotten, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018
Dot Rotten, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018

The collaboration on the M32 cycle path from 2018 was painted by Dot Rotten (SPOILT), Sled One and Smak. Dot Rotten is an artist Idon’t think I have posted before, but while I have been going through my archive recently I have spotted quite a few of his pieces, so expect more in the coming days/weeks.

Sled One, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018
Sled One, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018

Sled One has done here what Sled One does everywhere and that is turned out a high-quality character piece with great panache and style. The skull s beautifully drafted and has an animated humour about it. A nice touch to have an ASK speech bubble coming out of the cigarette.

Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018
Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018

On the right hand side of the collaboration is a clean, crisp and straight forward Smak piece which stands out from the wall thanks to the yellow outline and bright highlight spots. The whole collaboration has been painted on a shared background and colour selections and was a welcoming sight on this stretch of cycle path.

2851. Star and Garter (4)

Strictly speaking, this is not the Star and Garter but the building opposite it, but it is in the general area. This wonderful collaboration was completed shortly before the lock down and is between painting partners Sled One and Ments.

Sled One, Star and Garter, Bristol, March 2020
Sled One, Star and Garter, Bristol, March 2020

On the left is a beautifully sprayed pigeon in a style that you would instantly associate with Sled One. The bread thing going on? I’m not sure but it could be a pun on pigeon toast instead of pigeon post, but it might be something else altogether.

Sled One, Star and Garter, Bristol, March 2020
Sled One, Star and Garter, Bristol, March 2020

Sled One pieces are often quite mysterious and although there is pretty much always a story going on, understanding it can be tricky. The fabulous colours used and his technique of clever shading to create a 3D effect are of the highest quality in this piece.

Ments, Star and Garter, Bristol, March 2020
Ments, Star and Garter, Bristol, March 2020

Ments, whose work has always had an organic flavour to it, has been experimenting of late with a range of forms and textures, including spheres and metallic objects. This is a really unusual abstract piecem that looks slightly unfinished in the top left hand corner. I will be interested to watch where this new directtion for Ments will take us.

2742. Turbo Island

Oh my goodness, Sled One is literally (almost, figuratively too sort of) on fire at the moment, or at least painting fire, with this bright character toasting a cartoon marshmallow over a hot flame.

Sled One, Turbo Island, Bristol, February 2020
Sled One, Turbo Island, Bristol, February 2020

This piece is more contrived than might at first be apparent. The subject is a direct nod to the bonfires that are regularly started on the little ‘green’ on Turbo Island usually by revellers, homeless people or addicts of one sort or another. I think that this is a remarkable piece by Sled One in so many ways. Technically it is brilliant, but equally brilliant is the little story that is unfolding in front of us.

Sled One, Turbo Island, Bristol, February 2020
Sled One, Turbo Island, Bristol, February 2020

I don’t really know how it is even possible, but I think this young artist is just getting better and better and I’m not sure he is even close to peaking yet. I hope this purple patch we are seeing from Sled One continues well into the year.

2732. Armada Place (17)

There seems to be no stopping Sled One at the moment, he is knocking out some outstanding pieces on such a regular basis in Bristol and beyond. This ‘booze hound’ is a beautifully surreal little character, being a fusion of dog parts and a bottle that looks like a poison vessel.

Sled One, Armada Place, Bristol, January 2020
Sled One, Armada Place, Bristol, January 2020

I don’t know how he does it, especially using spray cans, but his pieces include so much detail and seem to tell such remarkable stories. This little fella could easily be a character illustration from a children’s book. Everything about the piece oozes class and a self-confidence. Mind-boggling really. More recent pieces in the can being lined up for future posts. The coolest.

Sled One, Armada Place, Bristol, January 2020
Sled One, Armada Place, Bristol, January 2020